As I look out my window this morning, I see the conservation area just behind the lot that makes up my back yard. Beside the house is a giant lump of dirt, taking up space where one day another house will be. And I can’t help but think that it doesn’t feel like Halloween anymore. Hasn’t for a long time.
I don’t know when it stopped feeling like Halloween. Probably around the time I stopped caring about costumes, or when I felt too old to go out and beg for candy from strangers. If I had to put a number to it, I would say it happened sometime in the seventh grade, around the time when girls discovered that the adult imagination for costumes generally included prefixing any known profession with the word “sexy”: the sexy nurse, sexy police officer, sexy mortician, and so forth. Still, I’m not sure.
That year, the in seventh grade, I went out with my best friend, he dressed as an executioner, and I as… you know, I don’t even remember. Probably a vampire. I always liked dressing like a vampire. (Think Bela Lugosi, not sexy goth with an eating disorder.) Which is funny, because I’ve never really cared much for vampire lore. Now zombies… they’re another matter. Zombies are awesome. But I always hated putting on lots of face paint, and short of me going as a 28 Days Later zombie, which would have made me look more like a drunk Rodney Dangerfield than the living dead, I would have had to put on a lot of it.
Last costume I can actually remember was my cheap ghost costume, which consisted of a white sheet with two holes cut for eyes. That was during my first year in the US. Before then, all the costumes I remember involved plastic masks bought at the local Walgreens for a few bucks.
So tonight, I’ll be handing out candy, sure, but I won’t be dressing up. Instead I’ll be at home, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (because it wouldn’t be Halloween without the Great Pumkin). Maybe it’ll feel like Halloween again. Of course, looking at the conservation area behind my house sort of feels Halloweenie, which I suppose is a start.